I had been thinking about what to do with the silver snake print voile I got from my OH for a while. Since we decided to have a complete and brutal clear out of everything we didn’t need, he found some material he bought ages ago that he never ended up using and thought it would come in handy for my dressmaking projects.
Silver-grey snakeskin print voile
The print repeats itself quite often which means I don’t have to concern myself too much about how the fabric is cut. I’m not sure how well it shows up in the photo, but it is a lovely print fabric with an almost iridiscent shimmer making the grey almost dark silver or gunmetal in colour. I’d normally shy away from these fabrics and I was a little hesitant to keep the fabric at first when I heard it had snake print, but on seeing the fabric in person, I realised the fabric is quite sheer so the snake print isn’t as bold as it looks when you layer it twice or more to make it less transparent, although to use it as a dress, you’d still need to line it.
The print of the voile isn’t as bold if you only use one layer of the fabric
I’m not sure exactly how much fabric I’ve got, it’s a pest having to roll out the 2 lengths (yes, I’ve got 2 lengths instead of one like I originally thought) and when folded, they’re quite thick so I’d imagine I’ve possibly got 6m total? To give me some ideas of what would work best, I had a google search of snake print maxi and knee-length dresses where the print isn’t as bold.
Chocolate voile snake print shirt dress with faux belt from SW3 Bespoke. Source: Cityist blog
I quite like the look of the SW3 Bespoke dress, because the way the voile has been used with a similar coloured shift underneath was what I had in mind, although the style of the dress would be more like the one I made using the New Look pattern #6723.
I also managed to find different styles of maxi dresses with snakeskin print for comparison:
Lace snake print maxi dress, on sale for US$420 (approx. £278) from Willow Ltd
H&M snake print maxi dress. Source: Justice Fergie
Pearl snake print maxi dress, was £38 now sold out from ASOS
I like the subtle shimmer of the snake print on a black fabric of the dress from ASOS. I’ll need to take a sample of the voile to the fabric store and see how it pairs with a light grey and black coloured lining to see what looks best. I quite like the idea of having contrasting colours between the silver grey of the voile with a black lining, almost like having black lace over a nude coloured dress, but in reverse in this case.
Some of the patterns I’ve been thinking about using I already have, depending on whether I’m making a maxi dress or a knee-length dress. For the knee-length dress, I was thinking I could use the New Look pattern #6723 which I made the watercolour dress with.
New Look pattern #6723, $4.99 from PatternReview
The finished dress. The fabric was bought from a market stall in Leiden, The Netherlands
To make this dress, I was planning to make the whole outer shell of the dress, including the sleeves, in voile, but only like the bodice and skirt, so the sleeves will remain sheer with a rolled hem. Although I would probably alter the sleeves leaving them a bit longer so they’re like flutter sleeves. The same concept would apply if I made a maxi dress, although I haven’t yet decided whether I’d make it into a sleeveless maxi dress, using the Simplicity Pattern #2579 or Butterick pattern #6630 to make a flutter sleeve wrap or knee-length wrap dress.
Simplicity Pattern #2579, £4.08 from sewingoodsaccessories on Etsy
Butterick pattern #6630, £5.44 from ViennasGrace on Etsy
I like a good maxi dress, it’s so comfortable to wear in the unbearable dry heat (the temperature this week has been fluctuating between 14-28°C with less than 5% humidity, exacerbating my heat rash on my hand and elbow), but one of the things you need to watch out for is stepping on your hem if you’re kneeling, sitting, crouching down or going up the stairs (and down if you’re worried about getting your hem dirty). You’ll need to remember to pick up the skirt of your dress before you stand.
The ASOS dress would be my aim for making a maxi dress, but I also like the simplicity and elegance of a nice knee-length dress like the one from Willow. I’ll start off with one and could possibly make the other since I’m not lacking in voile.
Which do you prefer, the ASOS maxi dress or the Willow knee-length dress?